Fra Mauro

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Fra Mauro

Lat: 6.1°S, Long: 17.0°W, Diam: 101 km, Depth: 0.83 km, Rükl: 42, pre-Nectarian

external image normal_fra%20mauro.jpg
Mick Hyde Fra Mauro is the large enclosure above center. The two interlocking craters below it are Bonpland (left) and Parry (right). The crater in the extreme lower right corner is Guericke.


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images (see also: Fra Mauro Highlands and Fra Mauro, west of) Wes Higgins

  • Fra Mauro B, a bowl-shaped crater at 4° south/ 21°30' west (west-northwest of Fra Mauro) was captured on frames 1165 to 1172 (made by Lunar Orbiter 1). Frame 1168 is one of them.
  • Lunar Orbiter 5's Frame 138 shows a close-up of the well-known junction at Fra Mauro, Bonpland, and Parry.
  • Fra Mauro Eta, the elongated "island mountain" with crater Fra Mauro R on top of it, was photographed during the mission of Apollo 14: AS14-70-9815 and 9816. See also LPOD Pitted Pyramid (see LPOD list below).
  • During the mission of Apollo 12 Fra Mauro Eta was photographed during local sunrise circumstances (morning terminator): Hasselblad photographs AS12-50-7436 and 7437 show Fra Mauro Eta in the centre of both frames, 7438 and 7439 show it a little below the centre.
  • Fra Mauro Eta was also photographed during the mission of Apollo 16 on several oblique northward looking Fairchild camera frames of REV 37, such as frame AS16-M-1418.
  • Research Lunar Orbiter and Apollo photography: Danny Caes


(LAC zone 76B4) LAC map Geologic map LM map AIC map
USGS Geologic Map of Part of the Fra Mauro Region (I-708 1) (Apollo 14 Pre Mission Map).
USGS Geologic Map of the Fra Mauro Region (I-708 2) (Apollo 14 Pre Mission Map).


Description: Elger

(IAU Directions) FRA MAURO.--A large enclosure of irregular shape, at least 50 miles from side to side, abutting on Parry and Bonpland. In addition to the cleft which crosses it, the floor is traversed by a great number of ridges, and includes at least seven craters.

Description: Wikipedia

Fra Mauro

Additional Information

  • Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
    • Pike, 1976: 0.83 km
    • Westfall, 2000: 0.83 km
    • Cherrington, 1969: 0.73 km
  • Fra Mauro D is a thermal anomaly crater, implying a youthful age - Moore et al, 1980
  • Satellite craters Fra Mauro A and B are on the ALPO list of banded craters
  • At 5° south/ 14°20' west, between Fra Mauro Zeta and an unnamed hillock, is a cluster of craterlets which is an interesting target for telescopic observers and photographers of minute features on the lunar surface. An orbital photograph of this cluster is included on page 201 of Apollo 14; Preliminary Science Report. - DannyCaes Nov 18, 2007
  • Remains of an almost undetectable crater east of Fra Mauro B. Only the southern half of this old crater, composed of an arc-shaped chain of hillocks, is noticeable on the "Big Shadows" version of the LROC ACT-REACT QUICK MAP. See: Discovered by - DannyCaes Nov 28, 2017

Lunar Ellipse of Fire

Fra Mauro is (or was?) number six in the list of 12 localities in the Lunar Ellipse of Fire (see article from Farouk El-Baz in Sky and Telescope - June 1973).

Curtiss Cross

  • According to Sky and Telescope of June 1958 (page 414) there should be a clair-obscur and trompe l'oeil effect at Fra Mauro Zeta, only observable during local sunset circumstances. Here, in this region, a certain moon observer (Robert E. Curtiss) discovered a curious Maltese Cross. See also Jim Mosher's related LTVT page: Curtiss Cross.


  • Named for Fra Mauro (unkn-1459), a 15th century Italian monk and cartographer. In 1457 he mapped the totality of the Old world with surprising accuracy.
  • According to Whitaker (p. 219), this name was introduced by Mädler.
  • Fra Mauro Delta (hillock northeast of Fra Mauro).
  • Fra Mauro Zeta (quite large and rather rough looking region northeast of Fra Mauro) (an easy target in all sorts of telescopes).
  • Fra Mauro Eta (oblong hill north-northeast of Fra Mauro) (contains the craterlet Fra Mauro R).
  • There's a system of thin rilles east (and also north-northeast) of Fra Mauro Eta. See: (Rimae Fra Mauro Eta?).
  • Fra Mauro Upsilon (hillock northwest of Fra Mauro).
  • For Fra Mauro Delta, Zeta, Eta, and Upsilon, see Charts 53 and 54 in the Times Atlas of the Moon.
  • North-northwest of Fra Mauro, and slightly west-northwest of Apollo 14's landingsite, is a formation which is nicknamed "The Turitella" by Charles Wood. It would be interesting to know if this Turitella-shaped formation was already noticed by ancient lunar observers. See also Lunar Orbiter 3 frame LO3-132-med which shows the Turitella (near the lower left corner of the frame). Research LO-3 photograph: Danny Caes
  • The trio Fra Mauro-Bonpland-Parry is nicknamed Mickey Mouse by Akkana Peck (from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon/ The Shallow Sky).

LPOD Articles

Residual Ridges
How High The Moon: Or At Least A Few Peaks
Buried and Textured
Pitted Pyramid (the elongated "island mountain" Fra Mauro Eta, east of Apollo 14's landingsite).

Lunar 100

L67: Apollo 14 landing site on Imbrium ejecta.